Teodoro Patera

Teodoro Patera graduated in Philology and Literary Criticism from the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy) and obtained a Certificate of Specialization in Medieval Studies at the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

He completed his Ph.D. in Literary Studies at the University of Macerata (Italy). He conducted research at the universities of Grenoble Alpes and Poitiers (France). In the academic year 2014-2015, he was a visiting researcher at the University of Geneva as part of a research grant from the Zeno Karl Schindler Stiftung. Between 2016 and 2019, he worked as Research Associate at the Seminar für romanische Philologie of the University of Göttingen as part of a project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Between 2019 and 2020, he taught French literature at the same institute, where he was also activities coordinator for the Montaigne Forum. He has been awarded the 2015 Doctoral Thesis Prize by EUM - Macerata University Press. He is also a member of the editorial team of the open access journal Polythesis. Filologia, interpretazione e teoria della letteratura.

His research interests are mainly oriented towards the French literature of the Middle Ages and early modern period, focusing in particular on figurations of the self in narrative practice, the notion of desire, and the representation of gender identities. Part of his work is dedicated to the theoretical definition of literary anthropology. He is the author of Parler dulcement d’amour, Identità, desiderio, racconto nei testi antico francesi della leggenda di Tristano (EUM, 2018) and co-editor of Mollesses renaissantes: défaillances et assouplissement du masculin (Droz, 2020, forthcoming). His essays have appeared in Modern Language Notes, Zeitschrift für französische Sprache und Literatur, Studi francesi, Mediaevistik, and L’immagine riflessa, among other publications.

Research project: CONFLICTS, DECONSTRUCTIONS, AND RECONFIGURATIONS OF MASCULINITY. Ethics and Poetics of Gender in Early Modern France

This research project aims to outline a constellation of the forms of masculinity in French culture from the end of the Middle Ages to the early modern period. Texts such as Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Castiglione’s Il Cortegiano, or Machiavelli’s Il Principe imposed a normative ideal of masculinity in the context of court society. This ideal was based on the principles of moderation and self-control, as well as on a kind of obligation to virilitas, a set of styles, gestures, ways, and affective states that are defined in opposition to an indeterminate “deficiency” qualified as not masculine. However, Renaissance culture shows different forms of alternative masculinity to the normative models. These forms have been particularly valued in literary discourse, and because of their oppositional dimension, they have contributed to redefining dominant models and the general system of masculinity. This system will be investigated through the analysis of the corpus of the first collections of French novellas and of the humanist novel. The analysis will be situated in the wider frameworks of the cultural history of the early modern period, contemporary gender studies, and the relationship between ethics and literature.

This study intends to point out how the emergence of a complex, dialogical, and split subject in European cultural history is impossible to understand without considering gender duality and its crisis. The project will follow three thematic axes: A) Masculinity and narrative mediation; B) Masculinity and affects; and C) Gender and genre.

Dates of stay: 01 October 2020 - 28 February 2021